Author's note: The original post misstated the name of Dr. Jud Newborn, cited below. Also, a commenter below disputes the accuracy of William Shirer's reference to a Polish cavalry charge against the Nazi invasion.
This week's controversy over President Obama’s use of the words “Polish death camp” is one that has forced me to confront some of my own biases.
When it came time to observe my mother’s first yahrzeit last week, I was in Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev. A fitting place since my mother, Sondra, was an avid traveler and particularly enjoyed her many visits to Israel.
The itinerary for my trip was planned weeks in advance, and so I anticipated the need to find a minyan there, and was assured by the American Associates of Ben Gurion University, which hosted the junket, that it wouldn’t be a problem.
The founder of modern Israel had little doubt about his place in history.
David Ben-Gurion, who lived from 1886-1973, meticulously saved copies of every letter he wrote and even asked his father to save letters he received because they would be needed later, for the history books. His diaries contained detailed notes of what he was experiencing at crucial moments in history. Less apparent, though, was what this instrumental figure was feeling in his heart.
Some news reports over the weekend suggest that Pope Benedict has come out against in-vitro fertilization, when in truth that has been a longstanding policy of the church. What may be new was his emphatic rejection, in which he was quoted as saying it is “arrogant.”